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"Why Can't Games Just Be Fun?"

I'm a dev, and here's my take on "fun", more specifically this video (penguinz0 's Why Can't Games Just Be Fun) which echoes what I've been hearing a lot lately from players which seems to have wildly mixed reactions in developer crowds.



TLDR: Our messages aren't shoved down your throats when you hold the spoon.

All games tell a story, even the ones that don't have a clear plot. All games are inherantly political because someone made it... People have biases whether they know it or not, it's their unconscious perspective - that's okay... but you'd have to really be projecting to dissect a deeper meaning from something like Tetris. Designers don't like the word "fun", not because we think all games must be "serious games", but because the word "fun" is super subjective... we like using more specific words when tackling design problems. It's not like there isn't any shortage of fun games that could…
Recent posts

Post Hello Post Mortem

https://stevenharmongames.gamejolt.io/post_hello/ For such a cute game, the development was anything but. What went wrong?Am I a bad partner?I love my partner on the game to death, but we weren’t the right partners for each other. Nothing against her either, this was her first game in Unity and my 56th. It's been so long since I've been a beginner that I've lost touch with what it's like to just start out making games and therefore the tasks I delegated were perhaps out of scope and her skillset. I suppose I wanted to work with someone new, someone I wasn’t friends with, because maybe deep down I knew that regardless of who I matched with I’d end up doing a majority of the work and grow resentful of my partner to be. Maybe I internalized this from the past horror stories I’ve heard from years past but even coming into this class and program I’ve been put in a unique position. Having a background in independent development and being self-taught I already have a process, a …

POST HELLO OUT NOW!!!

https://stevenharmongames.gamejolt.io/post_hello/
I'll have a post mortem coming soon, but for now... Enjoy this cute lil' game I spent the last 3rd of a semester working on.

Here's a little photo gallery





Us 2019 11:11 theory

This is a fan theory about the meaning behind the Jordan Peele film Us.
There are spoilers ahead, so immediately close this tab. Otherwise, join me for a quick breakdown of 11:11.

So the film begins with a title card saying something along the lines of
"there are thousands of miles of unused tunnels in America, many which have no known purpose"
Keep this in mind as this will be helpful later.

Throughout the film there's a lot of imagery of 11 from the amount of rabbit cages in a row to the dots on the beach towel. 11:11 is everywhere and it all starts with a man holding a sign saying "Jeremiah 11:11", the bible verse is quite morbid of an omen "Behold, I will bring evil upon them, which they shall not be able to escape; and though they shall cry unto me, I will not hearken unto them.", but not as scary as what I'm about to tell you.

A few years ago, my Dad and later I started seeing the numbers 11:11 everywhere. It wasn't just the alarm clock e…

I'm learning Chinese! New game out!

I'll probably do a personal update later, but made a pinball game in one week for FFS jam and fishtailed it with a school assignment.

I can model people now, that's cool

New Site + updated Itch & IndieDB

So Plisweb, the original content hosting service I used to host my website previously for the past few years has gone under and is now permanently closed. Therefore I was forced to make a new website and honestly I'm very happy with the result. The new site is leagues better than before.

I also was able to update Itch.io to include more of my older work in bundles as well as some of my newer work as well.


And when I updated my IndieDB by uploading Griptape Backbone and Player Known Battlegrounds to my surprise PKBG is doing really well. Usually it just gets lost in the search results because of PUBG, but the popularity on IndieDB keeps going up. So, if your game fails on one platform, always try another!


That's about it for this post. Hope you all have a good independence day, enjoy the fireworks.

Resume & Portfolio advice for game developers and artists

Recently a family member of mine needed some help with her resume and that got me thinking of some principles to a good resume. While I'm no expert I have gotten professional help in college with my resume / portfolio through a college business class. I wanted to share what I learned in that class with some quick bullet points. Take everything with a grain of salt though, as the most important thing is to be yourself with how you present yourself. And some if not most of this may be common knowledge to you already so take no offence, this list is as much for me (to retain knowledge) as it is for you.
Okay so let's begin!
STEVEN'S RESUME COMMANDMENTS Your resume should be able to be scanned within 6-10 seconds (no fancy formatting or artsy stuff, keep it clean and as readable as possible for their software). Any employer worth their salt in a competitive field get dozens of resumes like yours per day. They spend on average less than 10 seconds to make a decision. That decis…

ASMR Recommendations

A friend of mine recently moved into a new place and needed some help getting sleep so I composed this list of recommendations to help. I felt like I should share with you all and just in case the standalone site expires or something I'll be posting it here as a blog post.

So without further ado, here's my ASMR Recommendations.,,

But first, what is ASMR?
"Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is a term used for an experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. It has been compared with auditory-tactile synesthesia." - Wikipedia

Basically, it's relaxing videos on the internet that help me go to sleep, reduce stress when I'm feeling anxious, and make me feel better if I'm feeling shitty. I don't usually watch the videos themselves, but rather put in headphones, play a video, and minutes later I'm asleep. "When you're sl…

GDWC FAN FAVORITE: VOTE FOR UDM!

Big news! My game Ultra Dance Murder that I've been working on for four years just got chosen for the game developers world championship fan favorite vote, so if you have a moment to spare, please vote for it! If I win I'll be able to get a free trip to Sweden and some new equipment! Please vote and tell your friends to vote (don't want to be that guy, but it'll really help). Voting closes at the end of this week on Friday May 11 and it doesn't require any personal info from you! (just prove that you're human by clicking the button) VOTE HERE: https://thegdwc.com/ Also, on a side note Ultra Dance Murder will be showing at the USC Games Expo this Wednesday http://games.usc.edu/ultra-dance-murder/ If you're in LA, come on over!

NEW GAME! Player Known Battlegrounds

Like PUBG, but instead all the "battlegrounds" (Gettysburg) are well known and there isn't battle royal - you still get to parachute drop in though! 🙂 It's a fun educational deconstruction of PUBG. You play as a tour guide who's going through a divorce and you're just trying to make it through the day. Sounds kinda dark, but it's actually very cute I assure you.



Ultra Dance Murder has a site!!!

Later on I'll go into the details of how I made the site, what I used, but shout out to Game Jolt for hosting! I love them.

Trash Games For The Trash Gods

Over the course of the past 5 weeks I've been making trash game jam games every week.
Here's my top 3 favorites for you. After two bigger releases, it's nice to stretch and warm up with some small games made in no time (few hours - 2 days)

The Reckoning A bullet hell shoot em' up about eating rat with friends


Meme RacerA game that should never have been made.  Absolute Cultural Trash.

The Number Wizard A game about a guy in a wizard costume who approaches you at the park.  Cute trash.

Interactive Toilets

While my work on toiletgamestudies.org is good theory, I am a firm believer of practice. When it comes to interactive toilets, I don't just talk the talk...

I'm an academic now

Proud founder of www.toiletgamestudies.org Because toilets matter

How to annoy all your friends on Facebook.

UPDATE: FACEBOOK RECENTLY PATCHED THIS. THIS MEME GOT ZUCKED.  SORRY EVERYONE. THIS EXPLOIT NO LONGER WORKS.

How to annoy all your friends on Facebook Aka: How to make gifs with sound... that autoplay... and loop. First step: Find a piece of audio or music that you want to be played. Your favorite song for example...
For added affect, amplify audio to a ridiculous volume (50X or so & check the "Allow clipping box"), apply a bit crusher affect (mda degrade in audacity is a nice plugin to do this; for distortion), and finally boost the bass to an annoying level for that extra distort. This should make it impossible for algorithms on the sites to detect protected audio, but also for the memes my dudes...


It should be noted that this will also go extremely well for unsuspecting people who are wearing headphones.

Step2: Find/Create/Edit the image for the gif! Needs to be saved as a .png, jpg, jpeg, or .bmp.



Fantastic! Great choice!

Step3: Make selected image the thumbnail (s…

How to get started in gaming as a programmer

Hi there, my name is Steven. Most of you might already know me, but for those of you who don’t and are new to my blog... I’m just your friendly independent game developer. I’m self-taught and learned everything I know about programming from library books, online documentation, tutorials, trial and error, and a lot of patience with myself. I'm far from a good programmer, but I firmly believe that ANYONE can make a game so if this helps someone get started then I'm all for it!
     So, you want to get started in gaming as a programmer? Maybe you are completely new to game development or are an artist who wants to broaden their horizons and become more self-sufficient, or want to become a designer like me and be able to talk programmer and artist alike? Welp, if that sums you up pretty well, this blog post is for you. As for those of you who already are sufficient in programming, feel free to read one of my angsty postmortems or memey posts.
     Okay! So, like most things …

Valve pls fix: Can't write an honest constructive review on this one game.

Why I create

It's an age old question that I'll probably have a new answer to a few years from now, but an open ended Steam review made me really process it. There's altruistic reasons why I create and then there are selfish human reasons, but at least one of them isn't to make a profit. If I wanted to make money I wouldn't be in the lifestyle that is indie game development. Though, now that I think about it I already owe the money needed to buy a house in student loans and I haven't even started college yet... one day at a time.

But anyways, back to the topic. I responded to that said Steam review as I do most things... in an existential rambling mess. However, since this is my personal blog and that's most of what I post on here... enjoy!

Learn how to save a life today

Just took the online portion of the Red Cross's adult first aid/CPR/AED course and the children with the adult faces are pure nightmare fuel. 


seriously
JUST LOOK
AT
THAT FACE

AND THE HANDS!!!

The adult on the left has actual detailed human looking hands not these baseball glove poor excuse for ones.
KILL IT BEFORE IT LAYS EGGS!!!
AH FUj.luikafdddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddda

It's been a year...

It's been a year since your death. Rest in Peace Harambe.  I hope there is a banana cake for your birthday in heaven.

When you reply to a review with the entire bee movie script...

1000 characters at a time

Vaporwave: The existentialism of the 21st century

What is V A P O R W A V E?
Vaporwave is an electronic music sub genre that originated during the early 2010's on the internet. It is characterized by a nostalgic & surrealist fascination with retro design, consumer capitalism, existentialism, and popular culture. Art that embraces low poly, VHS, cassette tapes, Japanese neo tokyo, cyberpunk tropes, Greco Roman art, early 90s adverts, old computers - all classified as “aesthetics”. The sound of vaporwave consists of slowed down sampling of lounge or elevator music, smooth jazz, 80s music, and a self-aware attribution art theory that tries to create something new whilst at the same time retaining a sense of nostalgia and wonder for the future or a blurry past. Vaporwave is an internet meme as much as it is a rising avant-garde art movement using old forms to create something new. What is Existentialism?
Existentialism is a philosophy that sprung up in the early 20th century around the time of WWI that emphasizes individuality, free…

*cough cough... Griptape Backbone is out on Gamejolt 2 days before release on Steam

Recently got an email, and it raised some valid points. SOooo....
https://stevenharmongames.gamejolt.io/GriptapeBackbone/ Check it out mai boiiiii